April 4, 2021 - News Articles
This year, ERA404 celebrates 20 years! We started by moonlighting as freelancers in New York City on April 21, 2001, and have grown over the last 20 years to provide print, identity, motion, and environmental design, digital design and development, and strategy services to over 480 clients. With a fulltime staff of two and 50 contractual designers, developers, and artisans, ERA404 has helped hundreds of companies and individuals grow their brands, businesses, and visions. We owe all our success over the past two decades to the clients that entrusted us with their projects, the family and friends that supported us throughout the years, and our creative network, without whom ERA404 wouldn’t exist.
It’s been a fun, challenging, and exciting ride over the past 20 years and we’re looking forward to the next 20, continuing to help make the world a more understandable, functional, and beautiful place.
April 3, 2019 - News Articles
Happy 4/04! Each year on this date, we gather our employees and contractors for our annual “State of the ERA” meeting and discuss where we’ve grown and how our focus has evolved during the course of the year. Our 18th year (and 18th 4/04) is no different. And as we look back on the last year’s projects, we’ve recognized an emerging trend.
While streamlining internal workflows may not be the most glamorous strategic design, it’s gratifying because it still encompasses the heart of all the work we do: a client has a need and we work with them to resolve it. Typically, these problems present themselves as stumbling blocks, obstacles, and bottlenecks in existing internal workflows or the modernization of analog, antiquated processes.
- A client has a number of disparate worksites with employees and needs to effectively manage their time and assign it to multiple projects and clients.
- A client receives PDFs of attendee bookings for a number of hotels and needs to digitize, OCR, import, and organize the bookings into a master database to mail merge confirmations.
- A client needs to sell tickets for an event series and administrate the purchases and attendance records.
- A client needs to manage the check-ins of attendees, synced across multiple tablets that may or may not have a WiFi connection.
These are just a few examples of the projects we worked on this year. The list goes on and on. And with each new client and each new need, ERA404 has become unofficial experts in the world of the internal workflow. Our satisfaction is measured in increasing our clients’ efficiency and decreasing their manual labor. And when a client tells us that the alleviated stress of internal systems has allowed them to focus more on the part of their work that they love to do, that’s just as great a reward as any award-winning design or mobile app micropurchase.
If your business has problems with internal workflows, you’ve found it to be inefficient and tedious, and you’re struggling to focus on your more enjoyable, meaningful work, then please drop us a line. We’d love to help.
October 31, 2014 - Press Releases
NEW YORK—This summer, Deb Deffaa of Trident Networks contacted ERA404 with an idea to bring the world of social networking to the crew of seafaring vessels. And while the logistics seemed mind-boggling, the idea sounded more than intriguing.
In 2011, the 360 commercial ports of America, alone, took-in goods worth $1.73 trillion. There are more than 100,000 ships at sea, carrying between 12 and 110 crew members. Each laborer signs-on for contracts lasting 4-6 months. And while many of the sailors have families at home—be it Germany, Panama, The Philippines, or somewhere in between—they need to keep in touch with expensive satellite phone calls and with limited access to email. Shore-leave time dwindles at just a few hours, giving them little ability to even set foot in the countries where they deliver their precious cargo. And their view through a porthole window always replays the same footage of the middle of the ocean.Read More
February 18, 2013 - Information Resources
When creating mechanicals for website strategy, or Strategic UI/UX, we often make recommendations for content that should be visible above the fold. In the context of Web search/usage, the term above the fold refers to the part of the web page a user can see without having to scroll down or use the scroll bar within their web browser. In general, this space is at the top of a Web page, and is considered prime real estate for visibility and getting information seen most efficiently. The term, itself, is derived from the web’s ephemeral predecessor, the newspaper, in which the most poignant stories—the ones that would be more likely to sell that particular newspaper over competing papers—were those that were above the crease on Broadsheet or Berliner sized papers. Web strategists use the term above the scroll interchangeably with above the fold.
As browser resolutions increase, the fold mark keeps changing. In 2013, 25.4% of the world was browsing at 1366×768, as opposed to only 18.7% in 2012. And the growing availability of mobile phones and tablet devices, such as iPads, has changed the landscape to a point where we can no longer rely on a majority resolution and location of the fold. As a result, we recommend fluid, responsive layouts that accommodate for the broadest range of resolutions possible. Not only does this help clients to be able to see the most important content, while helping them to sell their services over their competitors’, but it also helps us to reorganize and strategize content based on the different types of users. For instance, a user on a phone may be more interested in contact information, a tablet user may want to read topical news or view videos, and a desktop user may want more in-depth articles and research information. Responsive layouts help gear the content toward these different demographics and re-organize what’s seen above the various folds.
That said, we’re currently in the age of Cinema (16 x 9 resolutions) and Retina (2x Device Pixel Ratios) displays. With iOS’s dock protruding into the available horizontal space and retina’s ability to scale content by pinching, the confusion over the floating fold mark is mired further.
With the one caveat that the rapidly changing environment may soon render this outdated, our recommended fold mark remains 645px for landscape orientations (with allowance for a persistent bookmarks bar) and 900px for portrait.
Examples of our testing can be seen below:
If you’re interested in learning more about fold lines, Strategic UI/UX or the changing landscape of the web, drop us a line to initiate a conversation.
February 12, 2013 - Information Resources
Every year, long before the ice thaws and the ground softens, my father takes a cup of coffee out to the farthest corner of the yard and studies a medium-sized rectangle of roped off terrain that will become his garden. The footage is limited, living in a modest suburb in Michigan, but in his mind, the objectives are organized into columns and rows.
- Anxiety: What environmental factors should be concern me?
- Trust: Will I get out what I put in?
- Expectations: What level of commitment should I prepare for, in terms of budget? Labor? Upkeep?
- Comfort: What is a realistic yield for an endeavor of this size?
When breaking ground on any mission that will require his time, energy, and resources, my father knows that thorough, comprehensive planning, coupled with a solid foundation, will make all the difference in the success of his venture.Read More
October 7, 2012 - Information Resources
As we round third plate to complete our 10th year of business at era404, it’s impossible not to reflect upon the previous decade’s successes and lessons. In fact, despite the enormous pride we have for our successes—the awards we’ve won, the opportunities we’ve been afforded, the pieces we’ve created—it was in the lessons that our company grew the most. We can only assume that the same way the triumphs and tribulations of a child’s first ten years shape his or her personality, a business uses its own experiences to analyze the risks it will take and the directions it will pursue.
The first ten years weren’t always easy. Read More